Hockaday: Our team spirit is still 'magnificent'
FOREST Green manager Dave Hockaday insists there is no shortage of spirit in his ranks, despite back-to-back defeats in the past week.
Hockaday described Tuesday night's 3-1 reverse at Braintree Town as Rovers' worst performance of the season, and it came hard on the heels of a shock exit from the FA Trophy at the hands of Conference North side Gainsborough Trinity.
A trip to Woking awaits his side in the Blue Square Bet Premier tomorrow (3pm), and he has called for a united front in the face of fresh doubts over their promotion credentials.
"The players get on brilliantly – the team spirit is magnificent as far as I'm concerned," said Hockaday.
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"We've got to stick together because it isn't the end of the world. We're fourth in the league and we won't get carried away about one game where we've been caught cold."
Hockaday cancelled his players' scheduled day off on Wednesday in order to watch and analyse the DVD of Tuesday's defeat.
Rovers deservedly trailed 2-0 until the 74th minute, when Ryan Peters was sent off for a challenge on Omar Koroma and Chris Stokes pulled a goal back from the resulting free-kick.
It was Stokes' third goal in as many matches and gave his side an unlikely route back into the contest, only for Kenny Davis to make it 3-1 from the penalty spot and Koroma to receive a second caution of his own in stoppage time.
Hockaday said: "We could go on about decisions and chances as much as we want, but the bottom line is Braintree turned up to compete and we didn't.
"In the second half we had a go again, and on chances we could have won it, but we didn't deserve anything.
"That's the first time I've had to say that this season, so that's not a bad thing and we will stick together."
Champions of Blue Square Bet South last season, Garry Hill's Woking were beaten 3-1 at the New Lawn in August but currently occupy a mid-table position.
Hill was in the crowd at Braintree to witness Rovers struggle in the absence of Al Bangura, who remains a doubt for tomorrow's clash with a foot injury.
Fellow midfielder Kieron Forbes has returned to light training after ankle trouble but will not be ready for competitive action until the new year.
Koroma's red card means he will be suspended, while Jared Hodgkiss could be recalled to the back four in place of Aarran Racine.